French Polynesia’s popular islands of Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora are in the middle of the South Pacific, but they aren’t as far away as they seem. Commonly referred to as the Islands of Tahiti, they can be reached within eight hours from the western United States.
The main island of Tahiti, with its capital in Papeete, is a good place to start your journey, with a stay at one of the 5-star resorts, followed by a short ferry ride to the more rugged Moorea, whose top-notch resorts line the northern coast facing the iconic Magic Mountain. Home to the legendary Mt. Otemanu, Bora Bora is known for its glamorous, romantic accommodations that embrace the island’s coves and surrounding atolls.
Conrad Bora Bora Nui
Nestled in a private cove of white sand and lava rock, the 5-star newly renovated Conrad Bora Bora Nui rises from the middle of crystalline waters protected by a string of small islets. The overwater bungalows are a dream, with soaking tubs and indulgent comforts opening up to serene waters. The 3,330-square-foot infinity pool of the resort blends into views of the lagoon. The resort features four restaurants, a fitness center, a hilltop spa with al fresco treatment areas, WiFi, and a Kids’ Club. The King Pool Overwater Villas come with a private pool and deck.
At the Polynesian Dinner and Show, French Polynesia’s culture is brought to life in a spectacular fire and dance show presented alongside a buffet dinner. On some nights, you can partake in the Ahi Ma’a dinner, made in a Tahitian oven in the sand.
Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort
The Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort is set on a secluded beach within a protected marine area on the eastern side of Moorea, close to the Temae airport and Vaiare ferries. It offers 113 sleek bungalows, built with natural materials, directly over the water, on the beach, or in the gardens. The overwater bungalows are some of the largest on the island, coming in one- to two-bedroom villas with multiple bathrooms, a lounge, deck, outdoor Jacuzzi, and direct access to the lagoon.
The Pure restaurant puts on traditional dance shows nightly, and guests can dine barefoot in the sand at the K restaurant under a cathedral ceiling made of Kahaia wood.
Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa
Set against a beautiful backdrop of mountains in between two bays, the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa provides a perfect spot to admire both the sunrise and sunset from the comfort of your overwater accommodations. The resort is 15 minutes from the airport or ferry dock, and has 104 air-conditioned beach and overwater bungalows, with terraces and glass floor viewing panels (some come with plunge pools).